How A Hedgehog Led To A McFlurry Cup Design Change

Unquestionably man's best friend and always behaving impeccably good, it's no wonder that dogs are a firm favorite among pet lovers across the country. You may find it impossible to choose a favorite, but a survey by YouGovAmerica confirmed that Labrador is the most sought-after breed, closely followed by Golden Retriever and Alaskan Malamute.

Very much like humans, not all animals are born equal. Hedgehogs, for instance, are no match for the mightiness of dogs — in cuteness or fighting stamina. The tiny balls of sniffing spikes are continuously overlooked in the battle for affection.

Hedgehogs are therefore in desperate need of help. A hedgehog school would be an ideal option, teaching them that there's only so long they can ride their luck hiding under a car tyre before the inevitable happens. But, as it seems to be with everything, it's commercial giants that hold the real power, as demonstrated by a revolutionary revamp by McDonald's that helped to save the future of hedgehogs (via BBC News).

Friendly and continuous campaigning by hedgehog lovers overruled the might of McDonald's

Everybody knows that sugary treats are hated by health experts due to their effects on the human body, but McDonald's McFlurries were once a deadly threat to hedgehogs. It wasn't the case that families of hedgehogs were piling into McDonald's restaurants to gorge on copious amounts of ice cream, rather that the sweet smell of delicious dairy was luring them into discarded McFlurry containers, trapping them inside (via Spiegel).

According to the Independent, hedgehogs were routinely squashing their noses through the plastic lids of McFlurry packaging, leading to them becoming stuck, unable to extricate themselves because of their spiny bodies, and eventually starving to death. Research by Spiegel concluded that in Germany alone hundreds of hedgehogs every year were being affected. Mercifully, the fate of one of nature's most adorable creatures was altered by a U.K. campaign that forced McDonald's to change its destructive packaging.

The Independent reports that persistent and non-aggressive letters sent by members of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society encouraged McDonald's to shrink the size of the holes in McFlurry lids, preventing hedgehogs from nosing their way inside. Of course, the lives of many hedgehogs could alternatively have been protected if people actually took the time to bin their litter.